Should There Be A Families-Only Section On Planes?

Who among us hasn’t been trapped on an airplane with a howling baby or a loudmouth 4-year-old who thinks the plane is his playground? So maybe it won’t come as a surprise to you that a new survey says most travelers would be just fine and/or dandy with having a families-only section on flights.

The survey, conducted by fare-comparison site Skyscanner, says around 60% of travelers polled would be in favor of putting families with young children all in one section of the flight, and around 20% said they’d like the option of flying on a child-free flight.

While this might sound like a good idea to weary grown-up passengers, creating these families-only sections could be a logistical nightmare. One aviation consultant explains to USA Today that there’s “no way an airline can allocate seating capacity to families,” because airlines “don’t have any idea” before check-in how many families will be on a flight.

Of course, you know the airlines would just see a families-only section or kid-free flight as an opportunity to squeeze travelers for more ancillary fees. Want to sit in the seat farthest away from the kids? That’ll be a fee. Need earplugs because you got stuck next to the kids section? Oh, here you are. That’ll be five dollars.

What do you think? Is there any way a families-only section could be worked out in a reasonable fashion?

Over half of fliers would limit where kids can sit on planes [USA Today]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Kat@Work says:

    How do they not have any idea how many families would be on a flight? They require your date of birth/age @ check in, don’t they? A soundproof section on the plane sounds like an awesome idea.

    • Tim in Wyoming says:

      Even when shopping around for my December airfare, every site asks how many tickets are for adults and how many are for children. So they know well before check in.

      • wooster11 says:

        However, children under 2 fly free and there is no way to check them until you actually get to the airport. So they never actually know how many are flying. Plus a 12 year old is quite different than a 3 or 4 year old.

        It’s about how you can actually differentiate all of these groups of people. Logistically it just won’t work and isn’t cost effective.

        • trentblase says:

          You know how they ask if you are checking luggage? Well how about they ask if you are bringing a kid. And they could helpfully offer to check that as well.

        • Burzmali says:

          It has been a year since I flew with my son, but I’m pretty sure I had to call the airline and notify them that I was bringing a child under 2.

      • humphrmi says:

        All that tells them is how many children are on the plane, not how many families.

        • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

          If you buy a bunch of tickets together, and some are kids, then you are a “family” for flying purposes. They put you together. Easy enough.

      • JMILLER says:

        People seem to forget about cancellations, missed connections, last minute purchases (bereavement or illness). They know what is SUPPOSED to be on the flight, but imagine a major snow storm. I wanted a no kids section and came from Wisconsin. You wanted a kids section, you came from Ioaw. We connect in Detroit where 18 inches of snow just fell. We are both going to Orlando Florida. Due to the storm one of the daily flights had to be cancelled. It is Dec 23rd. There are 5 flights a day normally, but since some planes could not get in, they could only do 4. Each flight holds 100 people. They are 90% sold. Ok figure out how to work it to make everybody happy.
        Hurry, people are waiting, and there are 100’s of other flights and customers to worry about. Come on,. you need to get it done, whats the hold up?

        • partofme says:

          This isn’t a problem…. unless you charge a fee for the difference. If you simply say “we will try to accommodate your requests”, then no harm no foul when they get behind and can’t really pull it off. The problem will be that airlines will start charging a “no kids fee”, and then will not want to refund it when they can’t deliver on the service.

    • PaRa02 says:

      Except you know, not everyone shows up.

      I fly standby often and I love it when Parties of 5+ don’t show to the gate and I get bumped up in the list.

      • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

        So if you fly standby, you do it with the understanding that if you get a seat, it could be in the kids section. Done and done.

    • dg says:

      Exactly. Want to take little johnny, little suzi, and little brandi on the flight with mommie and daddy? Buy the three pack their own damn seats – then you know.

      Enough of the bullshit already – get the damn kids quiet, make them sit still, or keep them off the friggin plane. Yeah, yeah, tough I know. Too bad. Deal with your own spawn, leave the rest of us out of it.

  2. sufreak says:

    No. You can’t gauge family sizes, nor predict it. And then you’d have issues because you can’t isolate the crying sound.

    And mostly no, because they’ll charge you.

    • DariusC says:

      Don’t fly.

      Problem solved.

      Cheap to drive from coast to coast than to fly with regular prices. If you get a deal to fly for 50 bux, you better not complain about kids because you wanted a deal…

      • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

        Oh, I love it when morons use this argument.

        So, I should have driven to Dubai last year instead of taking a flight with a crapton of missionary families and their squalling brats, some of whom had the flu and gave it to my diabetic ass even though I was vaccinated (vaccination only works MOST of the time, folks), and landed me in the hospital with life-threatening hypoxia from bronchitis.

        How… rational… of you.

      • Buckus says:

        So, it’s less hassle to take a 5-day NY to LA drive than a six-hour flight? AND less expensive? Even if you do it in three days, you’re still talking two hotel/motel nights, plus gas, plus two extra day’s food, and if you’re only taking a week vacation, you only get 1 day at your destination. Sweet.

        It may be a hassle to get kids on a plane, but I’d rather put up with that than driving them 10 hours a day for three straight days.

      • aloria says:

        Driving coast to coast is only cheaper if your time isn’t worth anything. Those two or three days of downtime are sure valuable to me in terms of the extra vacation days I’d need to use, and DEFINITELY are worth a whole lot to my employer in the case of business trips.

      • mythago says:

        Somebody doesn’t understand the concepts of “opportunity cost” and “time has value”.

    • teke367 says:

      Forget the fees, I’m against it because I don’t think airlines are competent enough to handle it. They have enough problems already properly booking a flight when all they have to worry about is First Class or Coach. Throw another variable in there and there is no way this won’t just cause more headaches.

    • FigNinja says:

      Yep. It’s like the old no-smoking sections in restaurants. It was still smoky. Just slightly less so in the non-smoking section. And when you got that table right next to the non-smoking section it seemed particularly pointless.

  3. c!tizen says:

    “Should There Be A Families-Only Section On Planes?”

    Yes, in fact I wouldn’t be opposed to their being “family only” planes, optional of course. I’ve been on flights with parents and their kids before and the parents usually hit it off pretty well with each other, and the kids play together. Makes the flight more enjoyable, which these days is a rarity.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I would support a flight or a section being just for families with kids. I travel with my family all the time, but we’re all adults – don’t put us near kids!

      • c!tizen says:

        There you go, an in-flight day care center-plane thingy. Parents relaxing and lounging up front, kids playing and watching movies in the back… that’s what airlines need to start doing, offering specialty flights. Hey Airlines: give people a reason to be gouged, fuckers!

  4. Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

    Yes. Yes there should be. And it should be soundproofed and smell-proofed, too. Nothing adds to the fun of being stranded on the tarmac like the refreshing odor of baby shit.

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      Don’t worry, as long as they’re breastfed (in public! on the plane!) their shit doesn’t stink.

      Or so they promised me.

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      The tarmac? Oh you had it lucky. Try flying from Paris to Detroit with that smell. Another time back in ’04 from Paris to Detroit, a family got on and of course, I had to be sitting five rows in back of them and their poor baby cried the entire trip over the Atlantic. I didn’t think a baby could cry for that long. That kid’s mom must have had patience made of steel to put up with that.

  5. fsnuffer says:

    Sure as long as they allocate the rows up front. Would be greate

    • dolemite says:

      Why up front? A single person or couple grabs their things and are off in 15 seconds. The family has to gather up the toys, make little johnny stop crying, look for the purse, get all the bags down, pick up the baby’s bottle off the floor…while 100 people wait.

      • Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

        Amen. Stick ’em in the back near the engines, where the roaring sound can drown out the baby’s crying.

        • Gramin says:

          Yes, because the jet engines are in the rear of a plane? They’re hanging off the wings, in case you haven’t noticed, near the center of a plane.

          • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

            Obviously you’ve never been in an MD-80, DC-9, or 717

            • bdgbill says:

              Hah! You Win the Internetz!

            • HogwartsProfessor says:

              Yeah, my recent flight was on a 717 and I hadn’t flown on one before, so when I picked my seat I accidentally picked one right by the engine. Nuts!

              I didn’t mind so much except I couldn’t really see out my window too well.

      • bsh0544 says:

        Because it’s not possible for a family to recognize that they’re coming up to the gate and be prepared in advance?

        • aloria says:

          Of course it’s possible. Do most do this? No, they sit around with their thumbs up their rears.

          • bsh0544 says:

            A lot of adults flying by themselves do the same. It’s unreasonable to single out families for not being proactive enough to speed the deplaning process.

        • FigNinja says:

          Parents are often quite prepared but children have their own ideas. Besides, families with children generally are pre-boarded so it usually makes more sense to have them all board the rear of the plane.

      • fsnuffer says:

        Why not? If you are forcing a person into a certain section, give them the better seats. Got another question, if there are only no seats left in the Leper colony ….. ooops I meant the family section, do you deny the family boarding? What if the only seats left are in the family section and there is a single person flying, do you deny them boarding? I flew over 100K miles for ten years in a row and I can state I was annoyed on many more occasions by drunk adults, adults with smelly feet taking off their shoes, adults reclining fully back, adults with small bladders getting up every 30 minutes, adult strangers thinking I really wanted to talk to them about their problems for five hours, adults packing all their stuff under my seat space, adults arguing with flight attendants about some perceived perk they weren’t entitled to for 30 minutes, 500 lb adults taking up half my space then I have ever been by children flying. Generally the only people I have seen complaining about kids on flights are the rookies that fly once a year. Most road warriors know flying sucks and just don’t let the little things bother them because if they did they would have stroked out a long time ago.

        • Buckus says:

          Amen. I don’t fly much, but I’ve never been bothered by children. In my experience, adults are waaaay more annoying than children typically are.

        • bdgbill says:

          Generally the only people I have seen complaining about kids on flights are the rookies that fly once a year. Most road warriors know flying sucks and just don’t let the little things bother them because if they did they would have stroked out a long time ago.

          ***Ahem*** Delta Medallion Gold / American Airlines Executive Platinum Member here and I beg to differ. I would happily spend an extra $20.00 per flight to be guaranteed not to be within 10 rows of a baby. If there was an entire airline that did not allow babies, they would be my first choice for all travel.

          Last week I spent 7 hours 3 seats away from a screaming toddler on flight from Heathrow to Montreal. There was not one minute of the entire flight when that kid wasn’t screaming. It was one of the worst travel experiences of my life and there is nothing I can do to prevent it from happening again.

          I hope there was a really good reason for that kid to be on the plane. I suspect 200 people were made to be miserable for 7 hours so baby could go see grandma.

          • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

            I’m usually not one to defend your opinion as I don’t like screaming infants more than you, however did you ever stop to think that maybe it was so grandma could see the baby? Considering the baby won’t remember.

          • fsnuffer says:

            I guess I have an easier time rationalizing baby crying than that nasty person taking off his shoes to massage his barking dogs so I can put it out of my mind easier. I do empathize but with the realities of today’s air travel there is no practical way to deal with this. As I stated before, they are not going to deny a family boarding because the only seats open are in the kid free zone and they are not going to want the hassle of refunding all the people who paid for it.

  6. Alvis says:

    I’d just like parents to learn how to control their children

    • PureRainbowPower says:


    • RayanneGraff says:

      I am appalled, how dare you suggest that parents STIFLE THEIR CHILDRENS’ FREE SPIRITS! Don’t you know that discipline and that horrible, evil, blasphemous curse word ‘no’ have life-long damaging effects on the delicate psyches of children?!


      But really, right on.

      • zandar says:

        I don’t personally know any parents who profess what you’re suggesting here.

        and my guess is the parents who don’t want to control their children could care less about what a delicate flower their children’s psyche might be. Or what a psyche is, for that matter.

        • RayanneGraff says:

          You obviously are out of the loop then. Over the past decade or so it’s become fashionable to let your kids do whatever the hell they want because discipline hurts their self-esteem by making them feel bad about themselves. And since self-esteem is apparently the most important quality a child can possess, valued even over a pleasant personality, civility, and maturity, all attempts must be made to prevent any damage being done to a bratty child’s “free spirit” by the parent spanking, imposing rules, or- god forbid- ever saying NO.

          That’s the gist I got anyway, from the load of psycho-babble bullshit my mom tried to feed me when I asked her why she lets my sister boss HER around & do whatever she wants to do.

          • Blackadar says:

            Sounds like you have sibling rivalry issues. Perhaps you should focus those and less on other people’s kids.

    • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

      Even normally well-behaved children can act up in airplanes; many of the youngest have no clue what it means when their ears pop, and do not understand the explanations–only that it hurts or is uncomfortable.

      Though I do agree, while this might explain a crying baby or younger toddler, there comes where public misbehavior is intolerable.

    • wooster11 says:

      I sort of agree with you here. But I guess it depends on what you mean out of control.

      Let’s say there’s an infant crying on the plane. Do you consider that out of control? The infant could be experiencing pain in the ears which the infant can’t really do much about. They can swallow by sucking on a bottle or pacifier, but that’s no guarantee that the pressure has gone away. And forget about closing off the nose and blowing. That’s impossible for an infant to do.

      However, when you have a 10-12 year old running around on the plane and screaming, well yes, the parents need to do something to calm the child down.

      But I do think that people unfairly target crying babies on airplanes. Many times there’s nothing a parent can do about it. However, parents shouldn’t just ignore it too. They should be constantly trying to do something to comfort their child. As long as the parent is trying and not ignoring the problem, then I think it’s ok.

    • MeOhMy says:

      Spoken like someone who has never had the pleasure of attempting to console an inconsoleable child. 6 months ago I might have agreed with you. Maybe mine’s broken, but she did not come with an on/off switch or a mute button! I’d get more sleep if she did, that’s for sure.

      • smo0 says:

        I have a slightly better tolerance for infants and new borns… I’m pretty sure he’s referring to “children”… when I think of children.. I think of 2-12 age range…

        and some of my more nightmare plane rides were when kids of this age bracket were disrupting the peace…

        it all depends… my mother took me on my first plane ride from San Diego to Chicago when I was less than 1 month old…. she said I slept the entire way….

      • NumberSix says:


        I hate it when people pull “just control your kid” out of their butt like there some magic formula to doing it.

        • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

          it’s not magic. It requires a little knowledge and a lot of empathy. Since you think it’s magic and you’re sarcastic about it, you obviously lack both.

          • mythago says:

            The self-described ‘avatar of snark’ is whining about somebody else being sarcastic? Did he not pay you licensing rights or something?

            • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

              When I’m sarcastic, I’m aware that it shows lack of sympathy and compassion. That’s why I do it. I don’t do it toward children, because I give a damn about children. I actually do. i just don’t want to catch their childhood diseases or have to be confined with them in their misery because their parents don’t give a damn about flying with sick and miserable children.

        • Alvis says:

          Not saying it’s magic, but if you can’t do it, you shouldn’t be having kids.

          • partofme says:

            Please tell me you’re going to enforce this via sterilization. Because if we sterilize everyone on the planet, we no longer have to worry about overpopulation problems.

          • Marshmelly says:

            oh please. I agree that kids should be controlled and that parents should make a conscious effort to control their kids as much as possible in these situations, but seriously? You’re using the “Don’t have kids” argument? Kids are finicky, unpredictable, and often times hard to control. I’m sure you were at times when you were a kid…and I’m sure it didn’t mean you had bad parents. I’m also sure that if/when you have kids, they will be the exact same way regardless of your level of parenting skils.

            • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

              “Hard to control” and “impossible to control” are not the same thing. It is possible to control your children. But most people don’t, because it’s hard.

              • myCatCracksMeUp says:

                You can control a child to prevent them from kicking a seat in front of them. You can’t control a young child or baby to stop them from crying because they’re upset, sad, uncomfortable, frightened, etc. All you can do is try to help them, make them comfortable, comfort them, etc.

        • RayanneGraff says:

          There is a magic formula. It’s called “discipline”.

          I took control of my baby sister’s discipline since she was about 2 years old, when it became obvious my mom wasn’t gonna do it. She’s 6 now & behaves perfectly in public. At least with me anyway, with my mom she’s a whiny, rude, fit-throwing, demanding brat. With me, she says please & thank you, speaks in a quiet voice, and if I take her to a restaurant she sits still & eats her food quietly without throwing it at at anyone. I tell her no, I set boundaries, I make my expectations known, & I spank her if she misbehaves, though I haven’t even had to spank her in almost 2 years now. And I’m still her favorite person, whaddaya know.

          If parents would quit being so damn afraid of hurting their kids’ feelings, we’d have a lot more well-behaved kids out there. I can understand an infant being inconsolable, but any child over 2 or 3 can be taught to not act like a little douchebag in public.

          • partofme says:

            You obviously missed the 0-2 year experience… and the wisdom that comes with it. Furthermore, different kids have different levels of rebellion in them. I’m glad you had one good experience, but my parents didn’t stop after their one good kid. They then had me. I would take all the spankings you could give me with a smile. Nothing pisses off a parent more than spanking the crap out of a kid and then seeing that kid just smile back.

            Ohhhh wait, you set boundaries? You do well, though I was the kid who tested each and every one of the boundaries that were set. My older sister was so blanket trained that babysitters couldn’t understand why she never wanted to get off the blanket. If babysitters could keep up behind me, picking up the path of destruction I caused, they were a success. Did my parents suddenly forget how to parent? I don’t think so, because their techniques (ya know, the things you mentioned) worked pretty well with my younger brother.

            Don’t act like every kid is the same… or every age is the same. I’m not giving parents a pass to not discipline their children.. they need to do these things. But I’m not naive enough to think that one simple set of actions is a silver bullet.

            • myCatCracksMeUp says:

              Exactly. Kids are different. Some are easy to get to behave, and some are incredibly difficult.

      • aloria says:

        The noise issue of a whiny kid is easily resolved by cranking the iPod or using some earplugs. Mommie’s precious kicking the back of my seat or constantly elbowing me as she squirms in her chair, not so much.

    • fsnuffer says:
  7. Angus99 says:

    It would have to be hermetically sealed for it to actually have value. Otherwise, if you’re in the next row or two in front or behind where it’s placed, you would still be in the danger zone.

    • P_Smith says:

      Just put them all in the back of the economy section, and have a sliding barrier built into the plane (with a soundproof curtain) to adjust the size of the “family section”. It could work similar to movable walls in public bathrooms that change the size of men’s and women’s sections.

      It wouldn’t even have to be built in to new airplanes or major expense needed. It could be retro-fitted to the inner walls of airplanes, much like shower curtains and bars people can buy for their own bathrooms.

      No, I’m not thinking with a “back of the bus” mentality for families. I’m talking about using seats and the curtain as soundproofing, as well as letting families get on first instead of having the kids kicking and screaming as they’re led down the aisles. Kids dragged down aisles are as bad as dumbsh!+s who lug the carry-ons by shoulder straps at the hip and smack seated passengers in the face.


  8. mac-phisto says:

    no, of course not. they should just require that babies be crated & placed in the cargo hold like the rest of the pets.

  9. TheUncleBob says:

    Can we have soundproof “Family” sections in restaurants?

    Why is it when I go out to eat and there’s only one other table seated, the hostess sets us right next to that table. Which, of course, has the screaming baby. There’s a whole empty restaurant! Set us way over there, please…

    • Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

      You just need to request it. I do this all the time. If a server tries to seat me somewhere that’s convenient for him/her and it’s not to my liking, I speak up.

      As a customer you should be able to sit anywhere you damn well please. If the server has to walk ten or twenty extra feet, oh well.

    • dreamfish says:

      I think worse than that are the parent who let their toddler run around the restaurant, getting in the way of the wait-staff and generally annoying everyone.

      • RayanneGraff says:

        I personally love it when the little brats run around & get knocked over, kicked, and get stuff spilled on them. The look of horror and offense on the mommies’ faces is just priceless when I point & say “ha ha!”

        Yes, I’m an asshole. But I enjoy life :)

    • NarcolepticGirl says:

      Oh my god. I can’t stand that.
      Last Friday this happened, and the waitress must have seen the look of horror on our face when she was about to seat us next to a table that had 4 children crawling under and around it.
      She asked, “Would you feel more comfortable at this other table?”
      And we nodded our heads pretty fast.

      There have been times where I’ve just asked for a different table.

      It’s not just babies and children, though. Loud college girls get more on my nerves. A lot of them talk (yell) like California 80’s valley girls.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        Kids bother me more than college girls…I feel like listening to their conversation is destroying my brain cells, but I really like overhearing conversations.

        • RayanneGraff says:

          I do too, does that make us bad people? Lol…

          • smo0 says:

            I 3rd that…

            I’ve “overheard” some of the most interesting and best conversations of my life….

            • NarcolepticGirl says:

              I just can’t handle the actual voice. If they had a loud deep voice, I wouldn;t mind as much

              • pecan 3.14159265 says:

                You wouldn’t think it was weird for a blonde college chick to sound like Barry White? Maybe he/she is a Wayans brother.

            • Sarahnoid says:

              Count me in, if this is “bad person” material.

              I often go to bars to write because the eavesdropping is so fantastic as the night progresses.

    • Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

      You just need to request it. I do this all the time. If a server tries to seat me somewhere that’s convenient for him/her and it’s not to my liking, I speak up.

      As a customer you should be able to sit anywhere you damn well please. If the server has to walk ten or twenty extra feet, oh well.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I think there’s a difference between restaurants being kid-friendly, and being completely spineless when it rude customers. Some of the restaurants we go to are adults and family-friendly, but you’re not as likely to see children there so the occasional child isn’t a problem, and I think the restaurant would step in if one child was ruining dinner for half the restaurant. We deliberately stay away from extremely family-friendly restaurants where kids are the norm, not the exception.

    • RayanneGraff says:

      I always ask to be moved if I get seated next to a demon seed, while giving it’s adoring mommy a filthy, hate-filled glare. I would never take a child of mine out to restaurants if he/she couldn’t behave properly.

      If you KNOW your little bastard can’t keep quiet in public, GET A DAMN BABYSITTER. Its better to pay some 14 year old $10 to spare the whole restaurant the grief of trying to tune out your little klaxon.

      • sixsevenco says:

        Clearly, you don’t have kids. My wife and I made countless proclamations prior to having kids on how our kids will behave (or not behave). When you actually have kids, you find out that regardless of your intentions, the kids (and even babies) are actually people and have their own personalities and interests.

        We don’t dine out much. When we do, we only go to family-friendly places. If you’re bothered by the sounds my 11-month old makes when he is asking for more food, too freakin’ bad for you. You have a choice where you spend your dollars, make a different choice next time.

        On an airplane, we do everything we can to try to make our kids as quiet as possible. This means countless snacks, DVDs, scheduling flight times to coincide with nap time. Again, we do everything possible.

        While we’re creating separate sections for groups of people that annoy us, I propose we create sections for the following:

        * d-bags that play their ipods so loud that I can hear the tinny, crappy music in my seat.
        * loud cell-phone talkers, or how about loud talker in general.
        * alcohol drinkers

        • grumpskeez says:

          I’m glad my glass of wine on a flight pisses you and your family off that bad.

          • sixsevenco says:

            It doesn’t really, unless you’re drinking merlot. eff merlot.

            Rather, I was trying to show (poorly I might add) the ridiculousness of segmenting passengers from other pasengers. If you start doing this as a practice, where do you stop?

        • RayanneGraff says:

          No, I have yet to breed. But I have raised my baby sister pretty much from birth. She’s practically a daughter to me(she even calls me mom sometimes), and guess what? It’s not that damn hard to teach a kid to not act like a little psycho if you just put forth the effort. She’s 6 now & has known what I expect of her since she was 2, and knows that she’ll be disciplined if she acts up. I haven’t had to spank her in years, and I can confidently take her anywhere without worrying that she’s gonna act like an ADHD poster child.

          So no, I don’t technically have children of my own, but I know how to handle a child. Kids are born malleable lumps of human clay, ready to be formed into whatever mommy & daddy choose. Bad kids come from lazy, permissive parents, period.

          (By ‘bad kids’ I mean normal kids who act like idiots, not kids with mental or developmental problems that cause them to act out)

          • sixsevenco says:

            Before age two, you really can’t reason with toddlers & babies. (well, maybe some toddlers.)

            If you do “breed” I respectfully recommend ‘love and logic’ instead of spanking. It removes emotional conflict between you and child when diciplining, and IMHO is much more effective.

          • myCatCracksMeUp says:

            If you were my child and you hit my other, much younger child, I’d knock your eff’ing head off.

        • HogwartsProfessor says:

          So many people don’t do that, though. They take their kids with them EVERYWHERE, including places with a 45-minute to 2-hour wait, which small children can’t do, fancy places, etc. I’m all for letting kids practice the manners they’re taught at home in a restaurant, but for God’s sake, people, do it someplace where the food comes fast and a little noise isn’t a big deal. Do it at TGIF or something, not Albert’s Platinum Steakhouse.

      • myCatCracksMeUp says:

        Wow – you really, really, really need help.

        “demon seed”? “bastard”?

        You’ve got serious issue.

        Please get help before having kids.

        • dg says:

          Hey – he didn’t say all kids were demon seeds or bastards. Just the ones that are. There’s a difference, and the ones that are should stay home where they belong until they can learn to behave.

    • AI says:

      I was at an Outback Steakhouse in the lounge section, when a family decided to come into the lounge with their two ~2 year olds. Um, there’s a whole restaurant over there for you and your kids, leave them out of the goddamn lounge. I just proceeded to have a loud conversation with my fiance that consisted of at least one swear per sentence. I was really hoping the family would say something to me, so I could remind them what section they were in, but they never did. Oh well, kids leaned some new words that day.

      • smo0 says:

        LOL. Yeah the lounge is a bad place for children… thankfully I have not run into that.. but when I do go out – I always tell the waitress beforehand to not seat my party next to children… if I have to wait an extra 15 mins for a table, then so be it… that’s my sacrifice.

    • SonarTech52 says:

      Jut fyi, usually different areas belong to different waiters/waitresses, and I believe the hostess will alternate which waitress gets the next guests.. Usually if you ask to be put in a different area, they dont mind, they just let the staff know to adjust accordingly.

      • teke367 says:

        Exactly, trust me, if you think it is annoying to be seated next to children, its nothing compared to being in a restaurant where the servers have their tables all over the place. It may not seem like a big deal when the place is empty, but that is when its the worst. When its empty, the risk to get double sat or triple sat is at its highest (if a rush comes). If you can’t get the tables spaced, being sat all across the restaurant is pretty much guaranteeing the guests will have a horrible time.

        But like many have said, asked to be moved. Perhaps they’ll just give you to another server, and the original server will get the next table, or its a notoriously slow time, and the server doesn’t mind taking the risk.

    • slappysquirrel says:

      My least favorite is when the Mom is desperately trying to get her multiple children to calm down and the Dad is ignoring them because dealing with them is the Mom’s job. Have seen that more than once.

    • dolemite says:

      I hate this as well. There are 100 articles on how people should treat/tip waiters, but how about a few telling waiters how to actually wait on us?

      If I walk into a place, dressed nicely with my wife, and there are 20 booths open, why do you sit me between the 10 college kids on one side of me, and the family with a 2 year old, 5 year old, 6 year old on the other side of me? I’m sure those people could care less where they sit, but I’m there for a relaxing dinner/conversation with my wife.

      Nothing says fun like having a 4 year old standing in the booth behind you dropping his Dora doll down the back of your shirt the whole meal. And no, I don’t want to have to ruin my evening with a confrontation with the parents over parenting skills by asking them to control their child.

      • Gramin says:

        If you walk into a placed dressed nicely with your wife and you have to compete with 4 year olds, then you’re walking into a TGIF, which is definitely not a nice place. When i go out for a nice night with my lady, there are never any kids around because we go to nice restaurants.

      • myCatCracksMeUp says:

        You CAN ask for a different table you know?

        Last week hubby and I went to a restaurant pretty early (as we usually do), and it was mostly empty, and they seated us next to a table with four adults. As soon as we sat down we realized that one man was talking REALLY loudly to the others (who looked like co-workers). We immediately told the hostess that we wanted a table on the other side of the room, and she, of course, escorted us to a table on the other side of the room.

      • dg says:

        First time the doll falls on me – the parents get it back and asked nicely to not let it happen again.

        Second time it happens – the doll gets tossed into the parking lot or stuffed into the garbage disposal in the kitchen.

  10. slim150 says:

    i thought of this idea on an older consumerist post. they should and have it be called the fiesta class. and all is needed is a movable partition that the attedents can move to the specific row and everything behind it is for families with kids and the front without.

  11. You-Me-Us says:

    I would happily pay double to fly 21 & Up Airlines. This is one fee I would welcome!

    • mac-phisto says:

      25 & up. some 21-year-olds are worse than toddlers.

      • EmDeeEm says:

        Can I get a 30+?? Also, get off my lawn.

        • Gramin says:

          Wait a second… how about a 25-60 flight… I can’t stand those old people with their walkers and wheelchairs… and they move SO SLOW!!! Keep them off my flight.

    • That Danielle says:

      It’s called First Class.

      • Sarahnoid says:

        My grandparents flew my brother and I first class when we were both under 10 because they thought it would be safer for us. (I wish I knew to enjoy it back then!) So you’re not guaranteed in First.

        However, my parents understood discipline and we knew how to behave on planes. We always had enough to keep us busy, and if necessary, benedryl.

      • Brink006 says:

        Except first class international is about ten times the cost, not double. =)

  12. dulcinea47 says:

    That would be about as useful as having smoking sections used to be. You can’t stop the sound of a screaming baby from spreading.

  13. NarcolepticGirl says:

    Well, I think everyone knows that most Consumerist readers would be in favor of something like this.
    Myself included.

    • InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

      Well, I’m in favor of it in theory. But how do you think it could be worked out in a practical fashion? Or do you advocate having certain flights be no-children flights? Because that’s about the only workable solution I can think of.

      • NarcolepticGirl says:

        I think the best way is not to make restrictions but offer “family flights”.
        Perhaps airlines could say that on Family Flights, you’ll be offered kids snacks and a kids movie on board.
        That way, a lot of children would end up on that flight.
        But some would get mixed in the “normal” flight -that’s just something people would have to deal with like they have been.

        • nitelion says:

          How about, in the spirit of family friendliness, you charge less for the family flight? Then the families would flock to that flight because they have no extra money. If a bargain seeker single wants to be on the flight, then they have to put up with the kids.

  14. chefguru says:

    I don’t know, but I think that the very least a parent can do, if your kid is kicking the back of my seat, and I turn around to say something, instead of saying “they’re just a kid”, you can at least pretend to be an adult and switch seats with your kid so I don’t scream at your kid for “just being a kid” after having my seat kicked for 30 minutes and you doing nothing about it.

  15. Roy says:

    seriously….This idea is beyond ridiculous.
    What’s next are we going to add a ‘elderly section’ because they might have to go to the restroom more often. A section for foreigners, because they may talk a different language. or a seperate section for business people because they might leave the light on to read while I am sleeping.

    • dreamfish says:

      No, because going to the restroom or speaking a different language *might* be annoying for a small part of the flight. However, screaming kids are definitely really f-ing annoying for the whole flight.

      I’ve never been a fan of the principle that if someone has children, their rights automatically trump everyone elses – “You can’t criticise me, for I have children!”

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        Yeah, it’s an annoying entitled attitude. Mr. Pi and I talked about taking a vacation and somehow the topic migrated to annoying children and we both agreed and vowed that our kids were NOT going on a plane until they were old enough to keep quiet.

        • NarcolepticGirl says:

          Yeah, my sister is coming to visit me with her husband and 3 year old. She said they were going to drive because she would panic and feel embarrassed if her son started crying or making too much noise.

          I think some parents get to the point (especially having more than one child) where they just don’t give a shit anymore, though.

          • myCatCracksMeUp says:

            I don’t think that for most parents that it’s a case of not giving a shit. Most of the time people fly, it’s because it’s way more convenient than driving. That’s the same reason families fly. And parents should not be embarrassed because a child cries. A crying child is not a misbehaving child, nor an out of control child, nor an undisciplined child.

        • Sarahnoid says:

          Benedryl keeps kids quiet on planes.

      • Roy says:

        I’ve sat next to a lady once that got up about every 15-30 minutes throughout the entire 8 hour flight to go to the restroom and she didn’t want to give up her window seat. I’ve sat in between people speaking a language I didn’t speak and every time they laugh it makes you wonder what they are talking/laughing about. Or a ‘wonderful’ businessman who set next to me during a red eye and spent the entire night messing with paper and kept his light on. On the other hand this does not mean every elderly, foreigner, or businessmen is annoying. The same goes for kids. My son has flown to europe several times, we’ve flown around the US and he is not even 3 yet, but he knows how to behave. And with proper planning kids can be kept under control during any flight (i.e. feeding during take off and landing).
        I guess what I am trying to say is that there are many things that can be considered annoying on a flight, but that doesn’t mean we should start giving them separate sections of the plane.

        • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

          Why, with proper planning, can your son behave and be kept under control, when dozens of other parents here have assured us all that that is just not possible?

          • myCatCracksMeUp says:

            Not one person here has said what you’re saying. What we are saying is that babies and little children cry. Sometimes they cry loudly. You can’t control that. You shouldn’t even try to “control” that. You should try to help the baby/little child to be more comfortable and happier until they stop crying.

    • NarcolepticGirl says:

      None of that would bother most of us.

      I don’t care how many times someone goes to the bathroom. I take window-only seats, so I wouldn’t even have to move for them.
      And who cares if someone speaks a different language? Why would that matter?
      And how would someone reading distrupt me if I’m sleeping?

      If any of the above smelled like shit, were screaming for 5+ minutes, kicking the back of my seat – then I would care.

    • RayanneGraff says:

      I would only vote to add separate sections for those groups if they also ran wild on the plane, screamed, cried, peed & pooped themselves, and kicked the back of my seat.

      Separate sections for elderly well-behaved foreign businesspeople are as yet unnecessary because undisciplined little shits are, so far, the only ones whose behavior has proven to be a consistent bone of contention on airplanes.

  16. kethryvis says:

    i remember when there were smoking and non-smoking sections of airplanes. i can’t remember if you specified when you bought the ticket, or when you checked in (i’m not THAT old that i was actually making the reservations… i was like, five or something). This shouldn’t be that hard. Make a ticky-box for “Is this a family reservation? (aka flying with children under x age)”

    Now actually having the seating on the plane would be more difficult. i don’t remember how the smoking sections worked on the planes, again i was like five, i’m sure there was some smoke wafting or whatever, and noise travels too. And size would be difficult, i get that. But the reservation end is the easier part, and it’s the part they seem to be getting their panties in a twist over. And yeah, they could charge a TON of extra fees, so they should be chomping at the bit on this one.

    • energynotsaved says:

      I am that old! When you called your travel agent to make the reservation, that was a normal question. Window or isle? Smoking or no smoking?

      It was awful. The smoking section was created by placing a “smoking section” card on a row of seats. Anything behind that = smoking. Smoke drifted all through the plane. No one was free of the smell. Being in the row immediately before the smoking section was pure misery. Gag.

      On the good side, the seats were bigger!

  17. GreatWhiteNorth says:

    Anyone can have a family only plane or family free plane by purchasing all the seats on the flight. Simple.

    We do live in a world where there are children, some well behaved some not, and adults, some well behaved and some not.

    Learn to cope if you have problems with this. Sometimes that means bringing ear-plugs and using them. Sometimes it means a little inconvenience. Live with it.

    However, for those parents and kids who do not have any respect for their fellow passengers and do insist on changing poo filled diapers in the middle of the plane and not the washroom or find they must maximize the irritation they cause fellow passengers… maximize the inconvenience they cause… well expect reprisals from those you piss off.

    • AI says:

      We’re talking about a company trying to please their customers by offering child-free sections or flights. This has nothing to do with tolerance, and has to do with business. If the company can make more profit by offering people these options, then good for them. I don’t need to ‘learn to cope’ if a company offers me another option.

    • BuyerOfGoods3 says:

      “Anyone can have a family only plane or family free plane by purchasing all the seats on the flight. Simple.”—

      You’ve never flown, have you? If someone does not show up and there are empty seats on the flight, they have a “will-call” and they’ll sell those seats quick.

      Nice try, though.

  18. stanfrombrooklyn says:

    I fly close to 100,000 miles a year. While I dislike parents letting kids run around like it’s a playground, I can’t stand moaning and groaning passengers who act like a crying baby is going to ruin their lives. Most babies only cry upon takeoff and landing because the air pressure messes with their ear drums. It’s not their fault and it’s certainly not their parents fault. The babies don’t like it anymore than we do. Too many adults can’t control their own emotions on airplanes so I’m not sure why we expect infants to do so. And I don’t even have kids.

    • AI says:

      It’s not going to ruin my life, but it is going to ruin my sanity temporarily. On a flight back from London with a baby crying for over 6 hours straight I starting thinking about what the baby would taste like with the right spices.

    • Ladybird says:

      I like your take on it. I totally understand that a infant or small child may find flying scary. Hell, I still count to myself during takeoff to relax my mind a little bit and I’ve been flying for years.

      But I have no sympathy for parents who bring NOTHING to occupy their child. I didn’t pay $300+ to entertain your child. Buy some damn coloring books.

    • snarkymarcy says:

      Wild Effing Applause, sir.

      I have flown extensively with our daughter from the time she was four months old. She is now four and has been to Europe, the Caribbean, and all over the US. I grow weary of the huffing, eyerolling, and muttering that happens when I go to get on the plane. Mind you, all we have done is exist at this point. Every single time at the end of the flight, I get complements from some of those same people, remarking that my child wasn’t a problem. What did I do during the flight? I spent every moment monitoring her behavior and needs. She learned from an early age what is expected and appropriate on a flight. She’s been in a car seat or other restraint on every flight.

      People remarking about baby poop/diapers being changed in the seats, kicking seats, etc…those parents are assholes. Stop assuming that we are all like them. Just like any other stereotype, it isn’t true.

      • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

        But all of these other commenting parents have said there’s no way to do this. Maybe you should write a book, but since, according to so many others, kids are just kids and there’s no way to assure they’ll behave well, yours is probably an alien. You should have that checked out.

    • dg says:

      MOST adults realize that the pressure issues make young kids cry during take off and landing. However, when that screaming, yelling, pounding on the tray table, jumping on the seat, kicking the seat, and non-stop crying continues beyond those points – it’s up to the controlling adult traveling with this mini-demon to tell it to STFU and sit down and behave. If the kid can’t do that – leave it at home.

      But just because someone who can’t handle their kids decides to not handle them doesn’t mean that I don’t have to put up with it. I’ll tell the kid nicely once or twice. Then I tell the parent and no, I’m not gonna be nice about it.

      Personally, I don’t think any kid under 5 should be on an airplane, and make all the little rats get their own seats – in the back of the plane.

      • MrSlippers says:

        I would probably laugh in your face if you told me in a “not so nice” manner to control my daughter because she was ruining your coach seat experience. Trying to act like a tough guy when you’re going to be sealed in a tin can with me for a few hours is only going to make me have less sympathy for you when my daughter pulls a Lui Kang and bicycle kicks your seat for 15 minutes.

        • dg says:

          You could try. And the next time your kid kicked my seat I’d probably get arrested, but I guarantee you that the seat kicking and ignorant parent bullshit would end for the duration of the flight. I’ve told parents on many flights where they ignored how their children were acting and it’s not a “tough guy” thing – it’s a “Hey asshole, your kid is out of control, so do something about it you moron” thing.

          And I’ve been sitting right next to the Air Marshall and had a flight attendant in the aisle when I said it too. The parent controlled the damn kid after that. I’m paying for the flight too – behave or stay home.

  19. Sajanas says:

    Better idea for your failing airlines, sell earplugs, $5 a pop. Otherwise it will end up like those “Customers with Children” parking. No one actually abides by it because there is no particular reason to, and not every family has a howling child. And more importantly, pissing off families by corralling them all into some ghetto will drive them away from your airline forever.

  20. tbax929 says:

    I’m a fan of family sections almost everywhere. I’m really not a kid person.

  21. smo0 says:

    This is something I’ve been suggesting for a while now.

    I’m not one of those people who says that families should never fly… I just suggest that if you’re one with kids who have issues with flying, it’s best to consider alternate routes when available…

    Family cruise… road trip – etc…

    “One aviation consultant explains to USA Today that there’s “no way an airline can allocate seating capacity to families,” because airlines “don’t have any idea” before check-in how many families will be on a flight.”

    But that can be said about disabled passengers as well…
    and there are some people who really don’t give a shit where they sit… they have their music players… whatever.

    I don’t like screaming children, but unless they are RIGHT NEXT TO ME… if I’m listening to my music player…. or laptop….I am rarely bothered….

    It’s not screaming children I think of when I hear “children on a plane,” it’s the seat kicking and running down the aisles I think of.

    Yes, there should be a kids section… if it’s not “full…” then offer people discounted seats for sitting back there… or stand by passengers needing to get somewhere will sit next to anyone if their plane ticket had a price tag of $20 bucks…

    it’s win-win.

    • smo0 says:

      Also… kid-free flights would definitely be acceptable….

      For example… flights from Vegas to LA… or LA to San Fran.. or Phoenix to LV… those short 30+ a day flights… there are enough for them in a day for them to take a few and make them “Kid Free.”

      However, rarely, trans-atlantic flights and the like… I promote a kid section, especially on the bigger planes, this can easily be done.

    • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:


      On a side-note, thank you for spelling “aisles” correctly.

  22. blinky says:

    they really are asking for a “no families only” section.

  23. El_Fez says:

    Oh, god yes. Please!

  24. Etoiles says:

    I would simply prefer that airlines work on allowing families to sit together. It’s one thing sitting next to a parent and child… it’s another thing when the OTHER parent and child are three rows away and keep reaching over your head and dropping stuff, or when one kid keeps running around a plane because Mommy is 10 rows back…

    • Jaws_Victim says:

      Oh shut up. They banned smoking in restaraunts too, which is discriminatory against your health. Yes, it’s boring for kids. Instead of lamenting it, why don’t you, as a parent, be a good parent and bring lots of activities for them to do so they don’t GET bored? Jesus I get pissed off when I read stuff like “It’s discrimination! I can’t help it if they’re bored and cranky!” YES YOU FUCKING CAN. Prepare a bit!

      I never fly anymore because of douchebags, bad customer service, and screaming children.

      • Etoiles says:

        I’m going to sincerely hope you didn’t actually mean to reply to me, because (1) I don’t deserve your vitriol for my comment, and (2) what you wrote has nothing to do with what I said.

  25. wooster11 says:

    If enacted, this would be clearly a discriminatory type of policy. It makes the assumption that all families have crying babies which just isn’t true. I’ve been on plenty of flights where kids have been perfectly quiet and others where babies have cried as well.

    However, making a family friendly flight where kids are subjected to sitting in a single place for hours is a good idea. That kind of time is an eternity for children and I can’t imagine how boring it is for them. It’s already boring enough to be on a plane for a few hours as an adult.

    • AI says:

      You’re allowed to discriminate against people under 18.

      • NarcolepticGirl says:

        under 21, even!

        • partofme says:

          Under 25, if you’ve ever rented a car. Or bought insurance. Oh, and then you can be discriminated against again when you get old. In practice, there is no protection against age discrimination. But by the time people get old enough to do something about it, they’re no longer under 25. And once they’re really old, they’re just a voter that we have to figure out how to manipulate.

      • Jerry Vandesic says:

        But you are not allowed to discriminate against family status. Any such policy would have a disproportionate impact. Lawyers would love an airline to try this.

    • mowz says:

      That’s why I suggest child-free flights.

  26. Remmy75 says:

    I would like to see a section for loud mouth drunks on airplanes before family sections. Nobody considers how stressful it is on parents when sitting near drunks with loud mouths dropping the F-bomb every other word.

    I would say make adults only planes before you make family sections or family planes, that would seem to be a pretty easy thing to do.

    Don’t make those of us with kids pay more because you can’t understand that no matter what you do, a 4 year old couped up anywhere is going to get antsy and want to move around and visit the bathroom 5 times. Do you think we do this on purpose?

    I love the response of control your kids, if you have never had kids then you have no idea how difficult this can be when a kid gets upset or frustrated. You would do the same thing if you were put in an uncomfortable situation. Kids don’t understand always and need time to learn how to behave in sitautions like that. Isolating them is doing nobody any favors, you learn how to act in the world by intereacting with the world, not sealing you off in a hermetically sealed room!

    • NarcolepticGirl says:

      Yeah. My sister has a three year old and drives everywhere if she NEEDS to take him. She’s terrified of being embarrassing or having a panic attack if he starts freaking out.

      I think everyone is pretty much talking about kids running up and down the aisles, climbing over seats, kicking the back of seats, mothers changing diapers out in the open, etc.

      As for loud drunk adults on airlines – I’ve never seen/heard one.
      As for kids – I feel bad for the parents when a baby is crying – but I also wish that so many parents wouldn’t fly with babies unless they absoultely HAD to. It’s annoying for all of us – baby, parent and passengers.

      • Remmy75 says:

        So your suggesting that parents who fly with thier kids dont NEED to take them? I didn’t get the emphasis on the NEED. Are you suggesting that parents flying with thier kids dont NEED to take them with?

        The reason we fly is because we are going to see family halfway across the country and the WANT to see my daughter.

        Again I stick by my stance that dont want to fly with gets, get on an adults only flight. That seems pretty simple idea! And enjoy paying the premium for that right.

        • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

          We’re suggesting that parents act like adults, even if their children tend to act like children.

        • NarcolepticGirl says:

          An example would be – a family vacation to a state that otherwise would be a 10 hour drive.
          But I think bringing babies on “vacation” is horrible anyway. Unless they’re old enough to enjoy it.

          When I was a kid, my father always drove us from Massachusetts to New Mexico or Florida to visit family. I loved it. I still love road trips.

          • smo0 says:

            I’ll get crap for this too – but I often see families at amusement parks… whatever… but then I see a couple with a TINY baby… hell even the families with a few kids and a baby… why take the baby? It’s not like they can enjoy themselves…. they are more like an accessory that makes loud noises….

            • NarcolepticGirl says:

              Yeah. When I lived in Florida, I felt bad for all those little babies being dragged around amusement parks and zoos in the 95 degree weather.

        • bdgbill says:

          I want to bring my howler monkey to a five star restaurant. He tends to scream, bite and fling his own poop but he really enjoys a well prepared 6 course dinner. If you are bothered by the behavior of my howler monkey you should pay extra to sit in a non-monkey section.

          I mean, how can you blame the poor monkey? He doesn’t know how to behave in a fancy restaurant and the tuxedo makes him very uncomfortable.

      • Jaws_Victim says:

        I agree, I haven’t run into a swearing or drunk customer on a plane before. But EVERY SINGLE ONE Has had a crying or screaming child, or just loud obnoxious children who kick my seat. Constantly.

      • myCatCracksMeUp says:

        I wish adults without kids wouldn’t fly unless they absolutely HAD to. It’s annoying as hell for me. I hate adults without kids. They’re almost always self centered and obnoxious. They talk loudly. They laugh loudly. The hit sitting passengers in the head with their purses and laptop bags as they walk by.

        What’s wrong with adults without kids driving? Childless adults shouldn’t mind the 17 hour drive from DC to Miami.

    • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

      Control them anyway. We don’t buy your excuses.

    • Jaws_Victim says:

      I’ve always been a fan of telling kids the truth. Why is the sky blue? Standard Bad Parent response: “Because they’re a magical so-and-so up there that casts a spell and makes it blue!” Good Parent Answer: “Because there’s lots of invisible things called ATOMS in the air, and when the sun passes through them it looks blue!” It leads to more questions, and the child learns something.

      So here’s a bad parents response to their child acting out on the flight: “Stop it! You have to act better! Sit quietly!” They don’t, and the result is hell.

      Good Parent Response: Well by this time they’ve already brought lots of activities. When the kid starts acting out, you ask them why. They say “I’m bored” or whatever. You tell them they have to behave, it’s hard, but all these people around you are looking at you and you have to be polite and quiet so they don’t get upset. If you’re really good, I’ll get you (Desired item A) after we land. Now, why don’t we color in this picture?

      When people say “Control your kids” They don’t mean magically stop them from acting out on a flight. They mean to prepare well in advance for what will happen on flights and stop the problems at their source.

      If I see people who complain about “Controlling your Kids” I know I see a bad (Or usually, and much worse a LAZY) parent. My sister has disciplined and raised 2 sweet children who are 5 and 3 respectively, and they know how to behave in public. I was raised well and never acted out on flights or grocery trips.

      • bdgbill says:

        Good Parent Answer: “Because there’s lots of invisible things called ATOMS in the air, and when the sun passes through them it looks blue!” It leads to more questions, and the child learns something.

        Sun passing through atoms huh? Hope you aren’t homeschooling those kids.

        • partofme says:

          Ok, most of air is molecular nitrogen and molecular oxygen, but there are also atomic trace gasses. Regardless, the difference between atoms and molecules aren’t known to young children, and they won’t remember that exact phrase you used when you do teach them chemistry. And ok, it’s not that the sun passes through them. The things that act kinda like a wave and kinda like a particle and are emitted from the sun pass through them. Again, distinctions not necessary yet, as they won’t even know what “emitted” means. The answer is truthful enough to satisfy the curiosity of the child, while not misleading them too terribly. If they ask “but isn’t the sun really far away? how can it be going through these atoms?” then 1) congratulations, you have a smart child and 2) teachable moment… clarification… more detail… these are good things.

      • Jaws_Victim says:

        Thank you to the other poster. Also OP, thank you for exhibiting a common argument fallacy: You can’t argue with my entire point, so you pick on one part of it to get upset over. Which, as the other person stated, is perfectly fine as an explanation for a child. I hope YOU don’t HAVE any children, because you obviously don’t know anything about raising them.

    • bdgbill says:

      if you have never had kids then you have no idea how difficult this can be when a kid gets upset or frustrated.

      Ah yes, the “He’s Just a Little Baby!” defense. Parents love to hide behind this little gem whenever someone is less than thrilled with the behavior of little Brandon or Brittany.

      Just so you know…We are not mad at the kids, we are mad at YOU. You, the supposedly responsible adult that has put your uncontrollable baby in a situation where you KNOW it is going to make dozens of other people miserable.

      And by the way 4 or 5 is plenty old enough for a kid to understand “sit down and be quiet” or “Stop kicking the seat”. My parents knew that, you should too.

      • partofme says:

        Good thing that I’m not mad at their baby either, I’m mad at YOU. You, the supposedly responsible adult that has put himself outside of his own home and amongst general society, where everything has an element of unpredictability and where there are always miserable people.

        Basically, I’m mad at you for being a miserable person. Parents can (and should) do things to help alleviate the problem of their children. Especially as the children are getting older (ya know, make sure they stop kicking the back of the seat). You can also prepare yourself by bringing earplugs or an ipod for the ‘unpredictable’ noise. No one needs to hide behind any soundbite defense. Just acknowledge various issues and try to do your part.

    • dg says:

      Bullshit. My in-laws have kids – they’ve been flying since they were 4 or 5, and were taught the rules BEFORE getting on the plane. Once on the plane, they knew what they had to do. They did it or their mother made sure they did. She’s not mean, just doing her job as a mother.

      It’d be so wonderful if other parents would step-up and actually be a fucking parent, make their kids behave, and allow the rest of us to be bored on the flight without the benefit of your rug rat running, kicking, screaming, or shitting in the seats…

  27. trey says:

    does anyone have any idea what this would do the the price of tickets? i would think it would make it much more expensive.

  28. hotcocoa says:

    I’m ehhh about this one because you can usually still hear a screaming kid even if they’re in the back of the flight so….it’d be nicer if kids under X age weren’t allowed on planes at all, but really, what would a family do if they had to get to NY from CA and had a 2 year-old and an infant?

  29. Erika'sPowerMinute says:

    I’d be delighted to see a section for whiny crybabies of all ages…..which would mostly be filled up with Consumerist posters who think the sky is falling if they have to be subjected to human frailty for a few hours out of their oh-so-important lives.

    • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

      OK, you can sit next to the human frailty… the incontinent old lady who refuses to wear Depends, the drug addict who needs his heroin fix halfway across the Atlantic, the smoker puffing his stale cigar smoke in your face, the poor flyer who misses the barf bag, the mother yelling at her child because she’s upset with the security checkers, the overweight passenger who can’t sit down with the arm rest lowered, the rotten falling-down drunk, the religious believers who believe that deodorant is against their religion, the broad who believes that perfume isn’t applied right unless everyone in a ten-foot radius is sharing the experience, and the gum-smacking mouthbreather whose portable sound system isn’t as private as they apparently think.

  30. mowz says:

    I would much rather prefer a child-free flight or a 30-and-over-only flight or a whispering-only flight.

    • Sarahnoid says:

      I’m all for 30+, whispering only….

      Hey, how about “Just let me friggin SLEEP” flight with no flight attendants? That would save on costs. And then all the people in the aisle (I’m a window-gal) wouldn’t risk bodily damage from those stupid carts.

  31. MeOhMy says:

    Seems like a win for everyone, but I can’t imagine how the logistics (or fee structure) could work.

  32. NarcolepticGirl says:

    Here’s my question. And I’m serious.

    Why do parents change diapers in public? I’ve seen this done on airplanes, on the floor at Target, on trains and at the Aquarium (on a bench).

    I really don’t understand why people do this. It makes me feel sick to smell and see it.
    Why can’t they go into to the bathroom like the rest of the world?

    • energynotsaved says:

      I agree with the changing in Target, etc. However, think about the size of the airplane toilet. There really isn’t room to change a kid in there. I’ve been on both sides of this issue. It is a no win situation.

      • NarcolepticGirl says:

        Hm. Well,
        I’ve never used an airplane bathroom. I’m terrified of them.
        Luckily I haven’t had to take a flight more than 5 hours.

      • Does not play well with others says:

        There’s a hell of alot more room in the bathroom than what the seat tray table provides. Seriously if some parent were to change their baby next to me like that I would probably vomit in their lap.

    • j_rose says:

      Sometimes there’s no room in the bathroom. Not all bathrooms have changing stations or anywhere to lay a baby. Just a thought.

      • mowz says:

        In all seriousness, wouldn’t changing diapers in public/out in the open be considered a health violation? I would get arrested and cited if I were to lay down some towels and dumped on them int he middle of an airplane aisle, wouldn’t I? Same goes for doing it on a park bench? Are there any health inspectors who can answer this?

      • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

        All airplanes have at least a couple of bathrooms with a fold-down table for changing a baby. There isn’t a lot of room to spread out, but it is available. Human waste belongs where human waste belongs.

      • NarcolepticGirl says:

        But why not do it in your car before or after?

        Target has large bathrooms with changing stations – why was the lady in the aisle changing a dirty diaper?
        Same with the Aquarium – They had several bathrooms – obviously with changing stations.
        Why did that lady just do it on the bench?

        Did they just not care? Did they think it was normal? Was there some other reason?

        Ah, the mysteries of life.

    • AntiNorm says:

      I’ve heard of people doing it in the middle of a busy restaurant, RIGHT ON THE TABLE. Ew.

  33. BuyerOfGoods3 says:

    I was a kid who was made to be on a Flight — it HURT SO BAD (ascending or descending, Ears POP).,

    Do NOT make your children go through this – there is a REASON they’re screaming! Jesus, people. From MI to TX, my parents ALWAYS drove after that.

    I can’t speak for international flights.

    • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

      The flight attendants should be trained to always offer suggestions to a passenger whose child may be experiencing ear pain. Honestly, it would take less time to train them than it does to suggest it.

  34. Jaws_Victim says:

    Attention Parents: Keep your precious snowflakes awake for 12 hours before the flight. Give them caffeine and pep pills, so you deal with their crap before they set foot on the plane. Then when they get on the plane, let them all fall asleep. Has worked every single time for me. “Your kids are so well behaved!” As they are all passed out in their seats.

  35. NumberSix says:

    As a parent, I’d be down with that, but I don’t see how. Someone still has to sit on the border though.

    • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

      I have an idea. All of those bleeding hearts who think it’s perfectly fine to be forced to sit next to a crying, misbehaving child can sit there. Deal?

  36. Lollerface says:

    The problem with these arguments is that people with kids were once without kids and can see both sides of the argument. People without kids have no idea what it’s like and can’t make an unbiased point.

    • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

      Oldest, and stupidest, argument in the book. Not having children DOES NOT EQUAL having to put up with brats.

      • partofme says:

        …Didn’t you just rephrase Diminuendo’s argument in a weaker form? “Not having children DOES NOT EQUAL having to put up with brats.” Diminuendo took it one step further to instead affirm a statement that is more relevant (since we don’t really learn much from saying two things aren’t equal): Not having children generally equals not having to put up with brats. Equality means implication in both directions (and contra-positives). Of course we have to include the relaxation term “generally”… spoken in the colloquial sense and not the mathematical sense. Your statement has nothing to do with whether this relation is true, in any direction.

  37. Ilovegnomes says:

    Isn’t that section already called first class? Most families cannot afford to fly in it and if they can, maybe they should be banned from allowing kids in first class. If someone is really that picky about who is around them, let them pay the price. Based on my experience with the friends of mine who travel all of the time for business or pleasure, they usually already have some premium status that allows them to upgrade to first or business class with points or just a little more money.

  38. Roger Wilco says:

    I have often thought they should have family only flights. Just as some movie theaters have family showings. Schedule a flight every other day or so on the busy routes and look for sponsorship from Nickelodeon…put Sponge Bob on the tail and make the whole experience family friendly – from food to staff. People traveling with children would line up if for no other reason to avoid stuck up adults acting like they weren’t just as annoying and loud when they were kids.

    I also think they should charge passengers by weight. Sorry Kevin Smith.

    • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

      No “ugly taxes,” please. Fat people don’t misbehave, cry, pee and poop themselves, run in the aisles, and kick the back of your seat.

      • nitelion says:

        no, they just sit there and ooze their fat onto you during the flight. I had a guy sit next to me that couldn’t sit with the arm rests down. I literally had window prints on my face from being squeezed by this man’s girth. Didn’t mean he was a bad guy, he was nice, but I really don’t like to touch or be touched by strangers.

    • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

      I didn’t misbehave in public as a kid. Period. My parents didn’t tolerate it. If we were in a restaurant and I cried or made a scene, we got up and left, even if it meant not eating. If we were in the store and I misbehaved, we left. My mom or dad would make sure to tell me I wasn’t coming next time, as my punishment. They made sure they followed through on it, even if it was inconvenient, even if it meant they had to pay a sitter.

      Once those lessons were learned, they could take me anywhere. Plane, theater, fancy restaurant. They knew that I knew there would be consequences if I misbhehaved. They couldn’t have taken me off a plane, of course, but I knew that I wasn’t allowed to misbehave in public, and I knew that next time, I would be left alone, even if it meant mom or dad had to actually make a sacrifice to make it happen.

      • Does not play well with others says:

        Same here, my parents didn’t put up with much from me. Their favorite line was “Quit your crying or I’ll give you something to cry about.” You know what most of the time that worked because I knew they were serious about following through with it.

  39. CaptCynic says:

    I’d rather have a segregated section for jerks. You act like one…you get moved to the jerk section.

  40. Vastarien202 says:

    I think it’s a great idea!
    Just make sure it’s as sound & smell proof as possible.
    They chose to breed, let them sit in their own hell.

  41. katarzyna says:

    Eh, no thanks. I find that the most annoying people on flights are rarely the children.

    • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

      I find that people think that’s a cutesy, clever thing to say. I’ve never found it to be true.

  42. Battlehork says:

    I’m imagining something like this

    but in a plane.

  43. Vastarien202 says:

    Not everyone wants to put up with a screaming puke-and sh-t machine while confined to a small space. I would GLADLY pay to have a no-child-under-10 experience for almost anything occurring outside the house. People are all too quick to scream “you’ll never understand if you don’t have kids!” Well, I’ve never been to Hell either, but that doesn’t mean I have to go there to know I wouldn’t like it! Too bad, Breeder! You chose to squat one or more giant Uterine parasites into the world, now deal with the consequences.

    • nitelion says:

      Jeeez…weren’t you a breeder’s uterine parasite at one point too? How proud your mom must be for you to say this kind of crap. Be vicious somewhere else. I actually hope they make an assholes only flight so the majority of consumerist commentors can be on it.

  44. tyg says:

    No. No. No. It punishes those families who actually teach their children to behave. My son is a pro at flying. He has taken 3+ trips a year since he was 2 years old (he is now 8, and will have taken 5 trips in 2010, two of them international). He knows what is expected of him, and we pack plenty of things for him to do so that he can behave while in flight. There is no way in hell that we should be punished by being stuck in a “family” section of an airplane when I have worked so hard to instil good behavior in my child.

    Not to mention that if you tell families that they are in the family section it will in their minds give them a free pass to let their children act out even more, and use the excuse “Well it is the family section afterall”.

  45. katbur2 says:

    No and frankly y’all need to get over it. Someday you will have children and someday despite your best efforts they will act up. It’s just the great big circle of life folks. Cope!

    • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

      We already have to cope with entitlement monsters like you. We don’t have to be forced to be victims of your active genitalia, too.

    • NarcolepticGirl says:

      Uh, I know plenty of people that arein their 40s that decided not to have children.
      I plan on being one. I’m 30 and since I’ve been 13 – I’ve wanted no part in children.
      I also wouldn’t have the money, time, patience or stomach to deal with one.

      • dolemite says:

        Yah..I’m 35 and no kids here. No plans for any either. I’m doing my part to help this overcrowded planet! Maybe birthers were needed at some point, but it’s time to start winding down a bit! I’m looking at you China and India.

    • madfrog says:

      Yeah, ok, but see, we and others like me wouldn’t even think about getting on a plane/ going to a resturant, etc. UNLESS THE CHILD KNOWS HOW TO BEHAVE.

  46. SlappyFrog says:

    Cargo hold.

  47. Geekybiker says:

    Meh. Children should be in the luggage section like traveling pets.

  48. rossodianima says:

    I would definitely pay more money to fly a kids-free flight (internationally, or a long-haul)- domestic flight less than 3 hours- no.

    There are kids-free resorts, restaruants, etc. There should be kid-free flights too.

  49. rossodianima says:

    I would definitely pay more money to fly a kids-free flight (internationally, or a long-haul)- domestic flight less than 3 hours- probably not.

    There are kids-free resorts, restaurants, etc. There should be kid-free flights too.

  50. rubicthecube says:

    Since the airlines are already sticking it to us with fees, why not a unruly passenger fee which would include crying children? The longer it continues, the heavier the fine. I bet that’ll make parents control their kids (looking at the “it’s not that easy” parents). I flew as a kid many times and I wasn’t out of control, why? Because my parents taught me to respect others and most of all, if they said something, it was law, there was no such thing as talkbalk or contradiction. Even if they were wrong. Controling kids is easy, if you can’t do it, what does that say about your parenting skills? They’re kids therefore, not that smart. Yes, I’ve actually chilled out many kids who’ve annoyed me without even saying a word, without enfuriating their parents. I used a little something called intellect.

    • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

      Because then you’d have some mother on TV, in tears, screaming about discrimination and abuse, how poor little Timmy was just “being a child” and the mean old airlines fined her.

  51. MsFab says:

    I’d gladly pay more to fly on a child-free flight. Not having a screaming child for several hours is more than worth it.

  52. Pinkbox says:

    I’ve been on plenty of flights with crying babies, but they mostly seem to quiet down after a while. I feel more sorry for the parents than anything because I imagine it is just as frustrating for them as it is for the other passengers.

    What has annoyed me the most was when on a red eye flight, the woman in the seat in front of mine decided to spray perfume on near the beginning of the flight. I’m sure the entire cabin could smell it for the entirety of our trip. I found that more offensive than any whining infant.

  53. FaustianSlip says:

    I would probably take advantage of it if it was offered, but most of the time, the kids I encounter on flights really aren’t that bad. It’s the parents who fail to exercise any common sense and take precautions to keep their kids occupied and calm that drive me nuts. If you bring some stuff for your kids to do, most of them will settle in, watch a DVD or read a book or something. That said, if your kid does start trying to use the overhead bins as a jungle gym or start running up and down the aisles, don’t react with some giggling and “Oh, isn’t he cute!” or “Well, he’s bored!” I get that kids get bored, but that doesn’t mean it’s cool to let them run wild, especially in a space that’s as enclosed as a plane (or a train, or a bus). Personally, though, if I see that a parent is doing everything they can to make sure their kid behaves appropriately, but it’s just not working, I’m more likely to understand than if they’re just out to lunch and pretending that nothing’s happening. A simple, “I’m sorry he’s acting up,” if you and your kid are sitting next to me goes a long way, too.

    One of the most horrific experiences I ever had was a flight from Osaka to Detroit (about 14 hours) sitting next to two kids, probably aged four and six, whose accompanying parent brought nothing to keep them occupied but one comic book each. That was it. No crayons, no Gameboy, no nothing. As one might expect, the kids were restless and irritable within an hour, and it just went downhill from there. In that case, I don’t blame the kids, but the parent. This was a flight that left Osaka at around noon, and it’s thirteen plus hours- why in the world wouldn’t you bring at least some paper and crayons for your kids? Of course they’re going to get bored and whiny and start crying.

  54. goldilockz says:

    So why do those of us who do not have a particularly fussy baby or who have well behaved children have to put up with the screaming infants that aren’t ours?

  55. jkhuggins says:

    I’m surprised no one’s suggested this yet …

    You can do “family-friendly” seating just fine, if you follow the Southwest Airlines “open seating” model. Just designate a portion of the seating (back, front, whatever), then let families board first into that section. Then everyone else can self-select to sit close to or away from the families, depending on their comfort level.

    Speaking as someone who flies alone on business, and occasionally with my family on vacation, I can sympathize with both sides of the debate. It’s no fun to be around a bratty kid. It’s also no fun to be the parent of a bratty kid … who, by the way, wasn’t being a brat anytime before boarding the aircraft and has chosen that particular moment to exercise their constitutional right to be a jerk in public. Yes, parents need to instill good manners; but just as adults can be ill-mannered at times, even though they know better, so can kids.

    And in situations I’ve been in as a parent … I would’ve appreciated not having the disapproving looks of frequent flyer adults, when I was clearly trying to do my best to salvage the situation. Moving such folks as far away from us as possible would’ve made both of us much happier.

  56. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    I seem to have an honest, motherly look. Half the business flights I’ve been on, a flight attendant has asked me to sit next to an unaccompanied minor. I was on many flights as an unaccompanied minor and I remember what it was like. The kids are no trouble, but then again I make every effort to make sure they are comfortable, supervised, and entertained, and that they understand where and how they are to disembark and make their connecting flight. Since I usually schedule long layovers I am frequently available to help them get to their next gate. (The flight attendants are not always able to dedicate themselves to making sure a kid gets situated.) I’ve helped an ill American child get treatment in a European airport. I think of it as the duty every adult owes every child.

    I frequently notice parents who are too wrapped up in their own heads to pay attention to their kids and make sure they’re OK, or who scream at them and even slap them on board. I’ve taken some of these kids in hand and read them stories from my e-book reader, or just talked to them. I can’t do much with babies, but I can do what I can do with kids old enough to socialize. Parents need to parent, that’s all.

    • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

      Good for you! I’ve also held babies so mom could get something out of the diaper bag, or just to try to help with the crying. I’ve talked to kids, and I’ve complimented parents who are obviously doing a great job.

      Those of us who don’t have kids are always seen in these debates as horrible child-hating ogres, but it’s not the case (for most of us anyway). But it IS frustrating to see a parent just shrug and say “Oh, well. Kids… you can’t control ’em. Or worse yet, just ignore the kids. An airplane is not the time to practice enforcing the “I’m not going to give them attention when they act out, because that’s what they want” parenting trick you read about in Family Circle.

  57. ThinkerTDM says:

    Personally, I hate riding in planes with smug assholes who think they are the only ones in the world.

    • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

      Really? Do smug assholes act up, scream, cry, smell, spill things, and kick your seat?

    • NarcolepticGirl says:

      Usually smug assholes keep to themselves and don’t bother others. They usually just complain about it later or to themselves.

      Although, sometimes they may say something VERY smug like, “Could you please not change your kids diaper next to me” or “Could you have your kid stop kicking the back of my chair”

  58. madfrog says:

    “Jeffrey, Jeffrey, stop it Jeffrey! “No Jeffrey, don’t do that!” “Leave that man alone, Jeffrey!” “Jeffrey, Jeffrey”- One of Billy Cosby best comidic routines about a kid on a airplane

  59. axiomatic says:

    Yes a section for families and right next to that section anyone else who feels like they are special. Shockingly that would be the very people who want to put families in the one section.

    • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

      Oh, I see what you did! A clever-turnaround of phrase to at the very end! My, you are smart, aren’t you!

  60. louiedog says:

    Here’s how 95% of flights I’m on go.

    1) Parents enters the plane with young child.
    2) Adults around me start muttering and audibly complaining. Occasionally someone next to me will interrupt the book I’m reading to tell me how annoying the flight is going to be because an infant is on board.
    3) We take off and the pressure change causes the infant to cry. I now have one infant crying and four adults complaining about it.
    4) Within 5 or 6 minutes the infant is calm. Adults are muttering “Oh, god, finally” and continue to talk about how annoying it was.
    5) The next 3 hours of flying are completely uneventful.

    There are exceptions where I’ve been on planes with kids who are having a hard time with it. However, in my experience I’ve seen with far more annoying adults than young problem fliers. Let’s fix problems with the airlines before we worry about giving them more tasks to screw up.

    • NarcolepticGirl says:

      I usually fly less than 6 times a year – but I’ve never talked to anyone on a flight and no other passengers have talked to me, either.

      I think I’m lucky. It may also be because I have headphones on and listening to music/watching television.

      There was only two times where a baby was close enough to me that I couldn’t hear what i was watching because of the intense screaming. And it was annoying.

      But it’s mostly the older children that get on my nerves (and their parents).

    • partofme says:

      I just had a very early morning flight that I was trying to sleep on, except there was a baby two rows ahead of me that screamed… the… entire… time. It drove me kinda nuts, and I wish I was close enough to tell if the parents were actually trying… then I could at least decide whether to hate them justly or give them a pass. More importantly, I wish I had packed earplugs.

  61. snarkymarcy says:

    Wow, Consumerist. Were you guys expecting a slow comment Wednesday? I sure hope someone addresses breastfeeding in the comments.

  62. dumblonde says:

    Rather than a family section, a kids free section is a better idea.

  63. gopena says:

    Please, god. *Please* make it so.

  64. sphantom111 says:

    I truly resented screaming kids on airplanes until I had the fortune/misfortune of sitting directly behind a screaming baby on a flight. The airport food I ate during the layover was particularly disagreeable causing great intestinal distress (AKA gas). Every time the parents got up to change the kid’s diaper, I let loose with a massive silent-but-deadly when they passed my seat. Everyone thought it was the kid and I was able to enjoy the flight. While this changed my attitude concerning children on flights, I don’t think the other passengers were so appreciative…

  65. HogwartsProfessor says:

    You know what the real problem is? INTOLERANCE. People are so damn intolerant of anything lately. I never used to hear people bitch about this stuff. Now little tiny things bother everyone and make them all pissy and whiny. The tiniest thing goes wrong–waiting a few minutes more for a burger at the drive through, a baby whimpering (and yes I’ve seen the whimper bring out some pretty nasty behavior in people, before it ever even got to full-blown crying), and people just LOSE THEIR MINDS.

    RELAX, everyone. Flying sucks; we know that. No, it isn’t fun to sit near a screaming baby, or an annoying adult, in a seat that forces you to keep your arms plastered to your sides for four hours or more at a time, but there’s not a hell of a lot you can do about it unless you charter your own plane. There’s no way you could feasibly do the family section, especially on today’s cramped planes, and like someone said earlier, the airlines would just muck it up anyway.

    I wish flying would go back to what it used to be, or at least become reasonably comfortable again. I guess that will never happen, but since it won’t we’re just going to have to try and get along with each other. Or take short flights with lots of transfers. Or find a way to build a better train system, although I doubt that would get you away from the babies either.

  66. Clyde Barrow says:

    Or how about a kids section? Like in the back area. Remove the seats, set up the area with toys, tie it off and leave them till you land. Parents could walk through and pick up their kids and leave through the back door.

  67. Sydney2PR says:

    I think there should be more facilities for children on board (especially for mother’s with their babies) but that doesn’t mean they should get their own section.

    I have a belief thats helped me through sitting next to kids on planes: I was once a kid too, so I have no right to throw stones. I need travelers need to remember that the next time their on a flight with kids running rampant. Think about yourself back at that age, and then put up with it.

  68. Duckula22 says:

    Send your kids via Fedex or UPS, and we’re all happy.

  69. AntiNorm says:

    Have flights that are designated as “family-friendly” or “child-free”. Make it clear which is which at the time of booking, and allow the passenger to select.

    The family-friendly flights would be priced like normal flights, and they would be open to everyone (including those traveling without children) — the caveat being that “by booking this specific flight, you agree that there may be young children on board, and you accept the consequences”.

    The child-free flights would also be open to everyone, including those traveling with children, and they would be more expensive. Allowing families on these would allow them more flexibility in their schedules. The caveat for families flying on these flights would be that if your child starts to scream/stink/kick seats/etc., you get ONE warning…after that, the plane gets diverted to the nearest airport, you get booted off for being an unruly passenger, and you get to reimburse the airline for their costs (which won’t be cheap). Enforce this rule *strictly*, too, since people are paying extra not to have to put up with that crap. No being nice to you if your kid is acting up, and no tolerating it.

  70. Molechaser says:

    I just want to say thanks for using my photo (and making my son the face of kids on planes). I’m not sure how the whole kids section/no-kids section thing would work logistically, but if it could be made to work, I’d be for it. Even though my son is particularly well-behaved on airplanes, I live in mortal fear that he will make a single sound, causing another passenger to complain about the disturbance, resulting in us getting kicked off the plane and rotting in some TSA prison.

  71. Astrid says:

    They already have a family section on planes, it’s call budget airlines. This it the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard of. I’d like to see an airline pull this off w/o getting sued for discrimination or something like that.

  72. arcticJKL says:

    How about the airlines just note which passengers are unruly, loud and wet themselves regularly and then charge them more next time they fly in an effort to get them to travel with another airline.

  73. CFinWV says:

    Yes, with sound-proof barriers between.

  74. Angry JD says:

    Family only flights. Or business only flights. Either way, segregate the breeders from the doers.

  75. Josh R. says:

    I think this might already have happened to me. I flew on a Delta 757 or 767 (whichever one is a 3/3, I can’t remember) BOS to ATL in October 2009, and I’d chosen seats near the front on the Delta website when I booked in August. When I printed my boarding passes the night before my flight, our seats had been changed to something in the 30s. At least we were all together.

    But when we boarded, I realized that 80-90 percent of all families traveling together had been placed in the rear of the plane, and there was a wall around row 30 that blocked us off from the rest of the passengers. We didn’t pay extra to pick our seats, so in the end it didn’t make a difference. It was just a little louder.

    It is possible to guess at families traveling together and shuffle them around. I’m sure there’s a computer algorithm that does it.

  76. Wireless Joe says:

    I’m fine with it, as long as they also separate out things that bother me:

    a no “snoring old fogies” section
    a no fatty section
    a no creepy dude watching porn on his company laptop section
    a no “drunk on $6 mini-bar bottles mumbling to yourself” section
    a “poor personal hygiene” section
    a “constant gabbing” section

    We may as well just ship everyone in boxes with air holes and sound baffles.

  77. JohnG says:

    I would love a bloated businessmen who barely fit in their seat and hog the armrest while watching porn on their company laptop the entire flight section and an angsty teen wearing earbuds listening to hardcore copkilla rap the entire flight at level 11 volume section and then bitching for a 1/2 hour when some kid 5 rows back cries for half a minute.

    Those people should be able to control themselves, yet don’t, and I see and have to sit next to them a lot more of them than illbehaved kids on flights.

  78. MrEvil says:

    My flight from Austin to Amarillo was miserable until Love field because of three fucking irritating Unaccompanied minors. It was only a 45 minute flight, but seriously those three little bastards would NOT SHUT UP. I wanted to speak up, but after reading some horror stories here on Consumerist about asking Flight Attendants for damn near anything, I really didn’t want to run the risk of having a nice chat with the TSA when we landed.

    Can we please ban unaccompanied minors from flights? Or make custody agreements where parents can’t be vindictive assholes to each other by moving clear across the goddamn country?

  79. banmojo says:

    Yes, this is a pro-consumer GOOD/GREAT idea, one which the airline industry will never act on until forced to by the feds. I am against feds messing with individuals, but when large powerful corporations are abusing their clients on a daily basis, THAT’S when feds SHOULD step in and force positive change.

    Also, not only would it NOT kill them to make a sleeper section, they could charge MORE for those tickets for many flights AND pack more people into those sections!! (next time you’re in a plane look how much space is wasted above your head and in the aisle – sleepers, like they had on old fashioned trains, would use all that space up efficiently)

    Stupid evil f***ing airline companies – I wish they’d all get spanked by Uncle Sam.

    BTW, how many people died on 9/11?? How many people die EACH F***ING YEAR IN ALCOHOL RELATED DEATHS, INCLUDING CAR WRECKS??? Do we REALLY want our private parts groped going through checkin at airports? Is this REALLY what society as a whole wants? WTF WTF WTF?? I’m so disgusted I miss the 70s and 80s and I cant believe I just said that but it’s sadly true.

  80. Gooberzzz says:

    A child under 5 could reasonably fit in the overhead compartment. There is a special type of padding that is used on walls in recording studios that could be applied to the inside of the compartment to muffle the noise. Children that are older could fit in a pet crate and be stored in the luggage compartment below. Airlines could charge by the pound as an extra fee for storage, or they could provide special crates. I would suggest getting a lock though, so no one can steel it.

  81. tailspintoys says:

    I flew to the US from Australia this year.

    On the flight there there was a 4 year old kid in front of me. he cried a little bit but I didnt really notice

    On the way back there was a grwon woman (40s) in the same row as me who got up at least 6 times, on time she stepped on me. (i much prefer to be woken up than have someone step on my nuts because the “didn’t want to bother me”)

    they should have an “incosiderate people only” section, perhaps inthe cargo hold.